About Pam

How did your relationship as patron of CCC come about? 

I have been a great fan of the choir for as long as I've presented SONGS OF PRAISE, which is thirty two years this Easter.  They have regularly taken part in our annual SONGS OF PRAISE 'BIG SING' at The Royal Albert Hall, as well as contributions and performances at many other SONGS OF PRAISE events around the country.  A small group from the choir travelled with us when we made two special programmes for Easter in 1999, the last year of the Millenium.  For many years, under their 'recording' name of THE HYMN MAKERS, the choir recorded a wide range of albums featuring well-loved hymns by inspiring hymn writers, which I still play very frequently on my Sunday morning Premier Christian Radio programme, HEARTS AND HYMNS.    

What part does music play in your life?

I have a particular love of hymns, not just for the words and writers, but for the music which brings the verses to life.  I often think I'd like to go on a 'Name that Hymn' quiz, because I have a head full of hymn melodies!  Apart from that, I have been asked to compère many musical events over the years - from performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, to JOHN RUTTER introducing a COME AND SING concert, amongst many others.  And this will be my eighth year of compèring the huge BATTLE PROMS Concerts at various stately homes around England during the summer months, where a 60 piece orchestra entertain crowds of up to 12,000 people with familiar classical music that can be quite explosive - we have 200 live cannons to help the music along!

Do you play an instrument? Or sing?

Years ago, I was chosen to be one of just four lady singers joining around 20 men to become The George Mitchell Singers.  Working with George Mitchell was a wonderful experience for someone who loves harmonies and glorious old songs!  For about five years, I was the singer with THE THAMES TV BIG BAND, a Glenn Miller line-up band of Thames Television staff members based at Teddington Studios.  We played in the Thames TV Bar once a month, but then did a whole range of charity evenings throughout the year - one of them at a high security prison!  I sang in Old Tyme Music Hall for quite a while, and for a while ran my own amateur company who took performances to OAP Clubs around London.  I've also played Maria in 'THE SOUND OF MUSIC', Charlie in 'CHARLIE GIRL' and various other parts in amateur music productions, which I've thoroughly enjoyed.   I learned to read music through playing the recorder from an early age, and as a teenager was still playing descant and treble recorder at a level which allowed me to compete in county-wide competitions.  I taught myself the piano, and enjoy that very much, but would never feel confident to play in public!  I can only play whilst reading the music, although my dearest wish would be to be able to busk!  I'd love to be a pianist who could sit down at the piano with everyone having a sing-song around me!    I can do a pretty reasonable party-piece on the concert xylophone.  I learned the technique from a wonderful teacher I first met at junior school, but he taught me well and we often did duets at concerts when I was younger.  I never lost the knack of playing the xylophone, and on many occasions on SONGS OF PRAISE, when we've had a xylophone in the line-up of musical instruments, I asked if I can have a quiet ten minutes with my sticks when no one's around to listen!

You're coming to Coventry for Mothering Sunday. Which hymn would you choose for your mother? Why that particular hymn?

I would choose LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING - because my mother was a Methodist who really loved the hymns of Charles Wesley, especially this one.  I know the words describe God - but to my mind that first line perfectly describes the unconditional love that was at the heart of everything my Mum did.